Solazyme, Mitsui to jointly develop triglyceride oils

US renewable oil and bioproducts company Solazyme is teaming up with Japan-based Mitsui & Co. to jointly develop a suite of triglyceride oils for use primarily in the oleochemical industry, the companies said on Thursday. 

The $20 million, multi-year agreement includes further development of Solazyme’s breakthrough high myristic algal oil, a raw material in the oleochemical industry, as well as additional oils that Solazyme is developing for the oleochemical and industrial sectors. 

“Mitsui’s extensive knowledge of the end use markets for the jointly-developed triglyceride products, including both the oleochemical industry and applications further downstream, makes Mitsui an ideal fit for Solazyme,” said Jonathan Wolfson, CEO of Solazyme. “We look forward to rapid progress on our research and development efforts, and to commercialize these novel products thereafter.”

Product development is expected to span a multi-year period, with periodic product introductions throughout the term of the joint development alliance, according to the companies. 

End use applications may include renewable, high-performance polymer additives for plastic applications, aviation lubricants, and toiletry and household products.

“Collaborating with Solazyme allows us to develop highly attractive products to penetrate the traditional oleochemicals industry, and expand beyond the supply limitations caused by both regional oil production and constraints in conventional oil profiles," said Daiji Kojima, general manager of Mitsui's specialty chemicals division. 

"Solazyme’s flexible manufacturing process and oil tailoring capabilities helps to support long-term competitiveness, independent of price swings inherent to this industry, while allowing us to produce tailored oils that are in demand in the marketplace,” he continued.

"Mitsui looks forward to strengthening its position in the oleochemicals industry through the successful development and commercialization of these novel products as a potential source of new sustainable materials to oleochemical companies."

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